BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan — Since the launch of Sputnik and Yury Gagarin from the desert steppe of Kazakhstan over 60 years ago, the history of spaceflight has been measured in milestones.
The first satellite, the first human in space, the first to the Moon. But the launch of Soyuz MS-17 on Wednesday was a different kind of milestone: the end of an era.
At 8.45 a.m. local time, a Soyuz rocket blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Russia’s sprawling and remote space launch facility in Kazakhstan, to the International Space Station.
It was the last time NASA paid for an American astronaut to fly with the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, on such a flight. Next year, for the first time since the start of the ISS program 20 years ago, Russia will fly all-Russian crews on Soyuz.
West Texas is not quite like the moon. But it can serve as a handy stand-in.
On Tuesday, Blue Origin, the rocket company started by Jeffrey P. Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, launched — and landed — its small New Shepard rocket and capsule for the 13th time as part of tests to verify safety before any passengers climb aboard.
One day, this will be New Shepard’s main business: flying well-to-do people above the 62-mile altitude generally considered the beginning of outer space where they will experience a few minutes of weightlessness as the capsule arcs.
Blue Origin is not a new company — Mr. Bezos founded it in 2000 — but for most of its existence, it operated in secret without generating much revenue. Three years ago, Mr. Bezos said he was selling a billion dollars a year in Amazon stock to finance Blue Origin’s research and development.
A new crew of three astronauts are launching to the International Space Station late tonight, blasting off on a Russian Soyuz rocket out of Kazakhstan. The trio are heading to the station about a month ahead of SpaceX’s next crewed Dragon launch, which will bring another set of four astronauts aboard the ISS in mid-November.
Heading up on this Soyuz flight are two Russian cosmonauts — Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov — and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, on her second trip to space. The trio will join three crew members who have been living on the ISS since April: Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy. However, their living arrangement won’t last long. Cassidy and his cosmonaut crew mates are slated to head back to Earth on October 21st, riding inside the Soyuz capsule that brought them to the space station.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space company launched a New Shepard rocket for a seventh time from a remote corner of Texas on Tuesday, testing new lunar-landing technology for NASA that could help put astronauts back on the moon.
The entire flight — barely skimming space with a peak altitude of 66 miles (106 kilometers) — lasted just 10 minutes. The booster landed vertically back at the launch complex after liftoff, and the capsule followed, parachuting onto the desert floor.
The capsule carried science experiments, including 1.2 million tomato seeds that will be distributed to schoolchildren around the U.S. and Canada, and tens of thousands of children’s postcards with space-themed drawings that will be returned to the young senders.
NASA’s navigation equipment for future moon landings was located on the booster. The sensors and computer — tested during the booster’s descent and touchdown — will hitch another
Blue Origin, the US space company founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, succeeded Tuesday in its latest test flight of its rocket aimed at one day taking tourists to space, even as the date of the first crewed launch remains unclear.
The New Shepard capsule, which was propelled over the boundary of space by a small reusable launch vehicle that returned to land vertically, will one day carry up to six passengers.
It attained an altitude of 66 miles (106 kilometers) above sea level, before descending back to the surface using parachutes and landing in a cloud of dust in the desert of West Texas.
Its total flight time was 10 minutes and nine seconds.
Blue Origin previously unveiled the capsule’s interior: six seats with horizontal backrests, placed next to large portholes, in a futuristic cabin with swish
U.S. astronauts now fly to the International Space Station (ISS) from American soil, right?
So why is a NASA astronaut about to blast-off to the ISS from Russia at a cost of over $90 million?
Despite the success of “Launch America” back on May 30, 2020 when NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley journeyed to and from the ISS in SpaceX hardware during the historic SpaceX Crew Demo-2 mission, NASA astronaut Kate Rubin will this week leave Earth from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
As I reported back in June, it’s the final part of an existing contract between NASA and the Russian space agency to send a US astronaut to the ISS aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
NASA’s next mission with SpaceX will launch “no sooner than early-to-mid November,” the agency announced Saturday.
That mission, called Crew-1, will ferry four astronauts to the International Space Station and back.
The launch was previously slated for Halloween. The delay allows SpaceX to investigate an issue with its Falcon 9 rocket engines.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
NASA’s four-astronaut team will have to wait a little longer to visit the International Space Station. The agency announced Saturday that Crew-1, its joint mission with SpaceX, won’t take off until at least early-to-mid November.
The mission was previously scheduled for 2:40 a.m. ET on October 31. The latest delay allows SpaceX to evaluate an with its Falcon 9